NASA administrator bill nelsonqualified this sunday to Artemis I of “an extraordinarily successful mission”which also means “the beginning of a new beginning” when it comes to space exploration.
During a teleconference after the arrival this Sunday of the unmanned Orion spacecraft, the former Florida senator recalled that the Artemis program aims to establish a permanent presence on the Moon “go further into the cosmos”including sending a crewed mission to Mars towards the end of the next decade.
Along with other NASA executives, Nelson said they are keeping the mission off the ground by 2024. Artemis IIthat it will make a similar tour but with a crew, and to that extent ensured that the program still has bipartisan support and the US Congress.
by his side, vanessa wychedirector of the Johnson Space Center of NASA, pointed out that if the information provided by Artemis I is satisfactory, that after landing it will be transferred to the kennedy space centerin Florida, it could then be announcing the crew for the next mission early next year.
The Artemis I unmanned mission concluded this Sunday after the arrival of the Orion capsule in the Pacific Ocean, off the Mexican coast of Baja California, after 25 and a half days of mission, during which it made a round trip to the Moon. in which he covered 1.4 million miles (2.2 million km.).
During the entry journey at 25,000 miles per hour (40,000 km/h), equivalent to 32 times the speed of sound, the ship weighing 22,000 pounds (just over 9,900 kilos) and about five meters in diameter (16, 5 feet) experienced about 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit (2,800 degrees Celsius), half the temperature of the Sun.
It faced this fire test protected by a thermal shield that was used for the first time in this mission and has performed well, according to the first observations, although a more in-depth analysis remains to be done, according to the person in charge of the mission. who said on the teleconference. Mike Sarafin.
“This is what a successful mission looks like,” said the NASA executive.
The director of the Orion program, Howard HuMeanwhile, he pointed out that the ship fell some 2.1 nautical miles from the target, located near the island of Guadalupe, and the requirement was that it do so within 5.4 nautical miles.
He also said they met 122 targets throughout the flight test and added about 20 more in real time.
Jim Free, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Exploration System Development, said the successful closure of Artemis I gives them confidence to tackle “increasingly complex” missions seeking to establish a permanent presence on the Moon.
“Initial indicators are very favourable,” Sarafin said of Artemis I, one of whose milestones was reaching a distance of 434,522 kilometers (nearly 270,000 miles) from Earth, the maximum ever achieved by a spacecraft designed to carry humans and more. to the record achieved in 1970 by the Apollo 13 mission.
Upon reaching Pacific waters, supported by eleven parachutes that progressively opened as the ship descended at 325 miles per hour (about 200 km/h), the rescue team aboard the USS Portland US Navy had to wait a few six hours before towing the boat. to take it to a naval base in San Diego, California, and from there to Florida.
At that time, NASA collected information on how high temperatures affected Orion that he experienced during re-entry and whether it had an effect on the temperature of the crew cabin, now occupied only by mannequins.
NASA plans to send the crewed Artemis II mission in 2024 and Artemis III the following year.in which astronauts, including a woman and a man of color, would finally land on the satellite for the first time since 1972.
(With information from EFE)
The Orion spacecraft successfully returned and completed the historic Artemis I lunar mission
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